Thursday, June 28, 2007

Who am I?

As has happened before, this is actually a response to Dion's blog. He posted his paper for the Theological Society and these are some thoughts!

I am not really learned enough to interact on the topic, but here are a few thoughts that popped up.

The idea of identity as patterns, not particles is really cool. We can see in ourselves the desire to maintain or at least control the change in patterns. So if we lose our hearing, we look for an implant, to preserve the pattern. Because if I am deaf I am changed. But an implant while changing the particles retains the pattern. If we are criticised we are challenged as we become unsure of the stability of the pattern and we react to preserve it.

The question of 'who is David' if a model is created which models David's subjective experience is also interesting. If two beings have the same memories, feelings and general subjective experience what separates them? If one sees existence as passive (which Dion later says we should not), then probably nothing separates them. But existence is not passive. Time passes and change happens. So we can ask will David and the model react to the passing of time in the same way? They will only do that if we program the model to repond in the way that we anticipate David responding. So the one that is not David is the one that requires programming. This does make it quite simplistic! But the alternative is that the model is in every way identical to David and includes 'humanness', in which case there can be no distinction. Yes? No?

Lastly, the thought of hierarchical holons as a metaphor? for understanding consciousness is a bit disconcerting in an essentially post-modern discussion. Hierarchies are just 'so modern'. I think when it gets to nested hierarchies we are better off, although nested might not be the right word if we are really talking overlapping hierarchies. But it all resolves itself more happily with Dion's description of intersubjectivity - more like a multidimensional spider's web than tiered levels.

I like the richness of the dimensions defining identity. Individual/community subjective/objective. All cool. It also allows for my identity to be described by the fact that I shun community - or embrace it whole-heartedly.

Ok, enough nonsense. This at least shows I can also use big words!

1 comment:

digitaldion (Dion Forster) said...

Yes!!! This is wonderful!!! This is just the kind of thought that I have been looking for to take my thoughts on identity to the next level!

Thanks for the post and the new insight Jenny!